Antibodies’ role in scleroderma variant uncertain

August 13, 2013

A recent study confirms the presence of certain antibodies in patients with morphea, but only in linear morphea is the presence associated with clinical indicators of severity.

 

A recent study confirms the presence of certain antibodies in patients with morphea, but only in linear morphea is the presence associated with clinical indicators of severity.

Researchers with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, examined 187 patients from the Morphea in Adults and Children (MAC) cohort and Scleroderma Family Registry and DNA Repository along with 651 matched controls.

The most common subtype reported among the more than half (59 percent) of the patients who had adult-onset disease was generalized morphea. The most common subtype reported among the 41 percent of patients who had childhood-onset disease was linear morphea, MedPage Today reports.

Antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) and antihistone antibodies (AHAs) were detected in 34 percent and 12 percent, respectively, of patients with morphea, according to the JAMA Dermatology abstract. The prevalence of anti–single-stranded DNA antibodies (ssDNA abs) was detected in 8 percent of patients.

The presence of autoantibodies was not associated with clinical measures of morphea activity; however, in patients with linear morphea, it was associated with functional limitation (ssDNA ab, P=0.005; and AHA, P=0.006), extensive body surface area involvement (ssDNA ab, P= 0.01; and ANA, P=0 .005), and higher skin scores (ANA, P=0.004), researchers reported.

Investigators suggested the findings provide evidence for an underlying autoimmune component and underscore the need for future studies to identify biomarkers of disease.

The study was published online Aug. 7 in JAMA Dermatology.

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